Sunday, January 15, 2012

Genevieve, enter stage left

On January 3rd at 4:07PM, I gave birth to our daughter.

Genevieve Day 1
Genevieve Danger, day 1:  6lbs 11 oz, 19" long

She's utterly fantastic. It's insane how much I love her. She makes the most amazing faces, and is (so far) pretty easygoing. She cries when she's hungry or wet, but that's it. Seriously.

She smells amazing, and she snuggles like it's going out of style. Also? She has crazy fantastic dimples, which I'm hoping to catch on camera. Because the cuteness will kill you.

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Napping in Andrew's arms

She sleeps pretty well (about four hours at a time at night), so we have no complaints. Andrew is an amazing father; he changes (cloth!) diapers like a champ, and he's been taking fantastic care of me, too. I'm really happy that his company has such a phenomenal paternity leave arrangement.

My parents have been over the moon over Genevieve (who we've been referring to as "DangerMouse", since she yawns like a mouse), and the only issue seems to be that whoever isn't holding Genevieve thinks the person who *is* holding her is "bogarting the baby". (A term that has been bandied about quite frequently around here.)

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Genevieve holding Andrew's finger

I've gotten a lot of questions about the particulars of her birth, and how Genevieve is doing, so I'm going to do my best to answer them here.

The dogs:

Niki and Elphie are adjusting nicely to Genevieve. Elphie was totally cool from the start; Niki had some ... challenges with the adjustment. It took about two days for Niki to relax and ease up on the assertive grooming.

Elphie seems to have taken a shine to Genevieve; she checks on her everytime Genevieve makes a peep, and when she comes back in from a walk, she checks on Genevieve FIRST- before getting water or having her leash taken off.

We are using the tips from Childproofing Your Dog, which have been really helpful. Andrew and I both recommend it, and we got it based on our favorite vet's recommendation.

Breastfeeding:

Genevieve latches like a piranha. I'm pretty sure that I've heard her growl as she goes in for the attack. I got really excellent lactation support at the hospital, so the first few latches were pretty awful, but we're over that particular hurdle and on to finessing the other details. You know, like being able to unhook the nursing bra one-handed, and finding the "just right" angle. All details.

Diapers:

Cloth. We're doing basics- prefolds and covers, like Mom did for me and KidBrother Sam. Cloth diaper technology has come a long way, but the favorite of the family is the bumGenius Diaper Sprayer. The thing is AWESOME!

Since Genevieve was three weeks early, we didn't have ANY diapering stuff. Thankfully, there was wi-fi at the hospital, and within two hours of Genevieve being born, I was ordering a few basics (to be delivered the same day we were discharged).  Thank heavens for Amazon Prime. Seriously.

Since I prefer to support small businesses, we did most of our diaper shopping at Tiny Tots in Campbell. I got fitted for nursing bras, got a sling tutorial, and Andrew got to ask all his cloth diapering questions- and they were cheerful about taking the time to help us. PLUS! The prices are *really* close to prices on Amazon. So, it's a win on all fronts.

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I love her eyelashes.
STOP READING HERE IF YOU DON'T WANT BIRTH DETAILS. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.

The birth story: 

Genevieve wasn't due for another three weeks (and one day) the day she was born. Our day started early- around 2am, when I got up for my regular 2am mosey to the bathroom. I did my thing, washed my hands, and as I went to crawl back into bed - SPLASH! My water broke. Spectacularly.

I was horrified. Not only was she not due for another three weeks, but SWEET MOTHER OF MERCY it was gross. I froze there for a minute, trying to figure out how to get back to the bathroom without making a wet mess all over our wood floors, when Andrew startled awake (let the record reflect, with a scream).

He helped me to the bathroom, we did the requisite checks of fluids/colors that you do, and then called Labor and Delivery like we had been instructed to do in case of such an event. The L&D nurse declared us "another full moon baby", and told me to have some breakfast, grab a shower, and come on in.

My contractions really kicked in about ten minutes after my water broke. I told Andrew that I just. Wasn't. Ready. I needed my three weeks. Andrew informed me that it wasn't really up to me at that point.

Mom and KidBrother Sam came over right away; Mom made me some oatmeal for breakfast, and KidBrother Sam made himself comfortable on the couch to keep the dogs' routine regular. I called my dad, who was in Los Angeles visiting family- because we had THREE WHOLE WEEKS until the baby was due. In the meantime, Andrew grabbed our mostly packed "go bags" and scrambled to get the last few things thrown in there, and loaded the car up in a flash.

My dad answered the phone with a start, and gasped out an "Is your mom okay?!" Because at that hour, the news is rarely good. I informed him that the baby was coming, and that he may want to head home a little earlier than he had originally intended. (By the way, he made it back home in RECORD time.)

We got to the hospital around 4am, got checked in (and checked) and I was 85% effaced and 1cm dilated. Andrew was a champion coach, and we used all of the tools we had learned in Bradley class. He was AMAZING, seriously. (Who knew that among all of his many talents that he was an incredible doula as well? What do you call a male doula? A dude-la?)

I made good progress, but as the hours passed, my contractions became more and more painful. There was vomiting. There were tremors. And, sweet mother of pearl, there was back labor. Yes, my friends. My precious daughter was going to be born face-up.

After 8 1/2 hours of natural labor, we had exhausted all of the coping skills we learned in class, I was in mind-numbing pain, and I was utterly knackered.  I asked for some painkillers and was able to rest for about an hour. Once the painkillers started to wear off, Andrew and I decided that it was time for an epidural- the back labor was not easing up.

The epidural was a patient controlled one, and I had it for about an hour before I was ready to push. In that hour, I went from 7 to 10cm. Booyah.

Once it was time to push, I pushed. And pushed. According to Mom, I pushed for about 30 minutes. Assisted by the midwife, Mom got to "catch" Genevieve. The cord was wrapped around Genevieve's neck, and she was as purple as the umbelical cord, but she still cried as she came out. Andrew cut the cord and she was whisked over to the warmer where they gave her some oxygen to pink her up.

Me? Second degree tear. Exhausted. Oh yeah, and my blood pressure and temperature had spiked (pre-eclampsia), so I was put on magnesium sulfate and antibiotics to make sure I didn't have a seizure or infection. It made me feel terrible, and I had to stay in bed for 24 hours. Thankfully, I had Andrew with me the whole time, and he was able to be both SuperDad and UltraHusband.

Since Genevieve was *technically* premature (a term that stings like a thousand shallow cuts and makes me feel like I failed her from the start), we got some extra help with nursing. She also had jaundice (which is normal), and her levels were low enough that we could bring her home, provided that she was on a biliblanket all the time- except when her diaper was being changed.

She was on the biliblanket for five days, total, before her bilirubin levels dropped sufficiently. We did it with skin-to-skin contact, because everyone told us it was better for Genevieve. Also? It's totally delightful to snuggle a newborn skin-to-skin.

We got tips from the nurses, and Andrew made sure to pay close attention on how to keep an eye on both of us recovering. He's been changing diapers, fetching and carrying, and making sure that on those days where I start feeling like my old self, I don't overdo it and backslide. (Who, me?)

We're almost two weeks out, and we're all doing great. It's because of our family and friends- Laura cooked us a week's worth of meals AND did the emergency shopping/laundry so that Genevieve would have luxuries like socks, diapers, and some onesies.

We've had other folks drop food off for us; my in-laws have brought dinner when they visit AND tidied the kitchen when we were done. My parents have been helping out by running errands, cooking, cleaning, and holding Genevieve while I live it up and take hot showers, or attempt to eat food while it's still warm.

Thank you all for your well-wishes and congratulations. I am so happy to be sharing my baby with all of you.

62 comments:

  1. teacosy here from Ravelry... She's gorgeous, and you know that, but I just wanted to say that... is it me or does she resemble your beautiful mother? =) I really seem to see Gigi in the second photo...

    A big hug to you all...

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  2. ooooh --- i have goosebumps all over and teared up from the love and support of all of your family and friends pithing in in their own special and very needed ways!!! and also laughed from some of the things and relived my kids' births (dd alex had cord wrapped around her neck and i also ripped horribly with her - she however, as well as being pruple was also limp and didnt scream - very scary! and remi had jaundice so we stayed an extra day at hospital. i didnt however have any latation support at hospital so was very lucky in that my ds was a super talented breast-feeder all on his own! he taught me how to breastfeed ;) and it was well needed experience as things werent as easy with my dd when it was her turn to BF)
    and i wanted to say, though i know it doesnt matter b/c as a mom you'll feel guilty no matter what, but of course you havent failed her by her coming out early!
    oh well, i just really enjoyed your post and i love seeing the pics you put on ravelry and i wish you all the best of luck and hope things keep going so beautifully for you guys!
    rebecawip

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  3. congratulations!! many well wishes for the new family!

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  4. Congratulations to you all! What an adorable baby. Enjoy every moment - she will soon be a teenager, you know.

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  5. She is so adorable.
    My water broke at 5 p.m. and I had to be transported into the hospital with an ambulance since my midwife had said, that I wasn't allowed to walk (that was 37+3 weeks). Fun :(

    I felt so guilty that the twins were coming to early and sometimes I still do... I think, that's just the way it is, no matter what we do, we will always feel guilty but you did an awesome job (you won't believe HOW relieved I was to get an epidural after 10 hrs of contraction and I do not feel bad about it... the c-section... not so happy about that...)

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  6. She is just beautiful, Jasmin. Enjoy every minute. You are fortunate to have such a loving family around you.
    Looking forward to hearing more!

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  7. She is absolutely beautiful! Congratulations!

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  8. Cynthia K-R in CanadaJanuary 16, 2012 at 5:56 AM

    Congratulations! She is truly a beautiful baby. I remember when my 2 sons were born, and I still relish those thoughts- really !!!
    Enjoy the 'infancy' stage. Your husband is a real champ.

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  9. Congratulations!! She is absolutely gorgeous.

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  10. Many, many years ago when i was expecting No 1 Son, there was an article in a Sunday newspaper about the perils of parenthood, particularly of teenagers. The tag that stuck with me was "A mother's place is in the wrong!" maternal guilt seems to be installed right beside that new baby and never goes away. Try not to let it take over too often.

    But dash it all, it would be so much more useful to get an extra pair of arms, preferably telescopic installed with that new baby!

    Enjoy every moment.

    Ella, aka GiffnockGirl

    ps

    Is it because I'm not American that I smile to think of the baby having an actual Uncle Sam?

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  11. First of all, congratulations! Your body grew that awesome baby! Your body made her and helped her stay inside and be healthy and safe despite your health problems you still kept her in till near term. You are amazing!

    And now on top of all that you are feeding her the most precious thing in the world. Food that is more than food. Food that gives her optimal brain growth, that builds her fragile immune system into a life long powerful illness fighting machine, food that gives her luscious skin free of eczema, food that going into her body and lowers her chance of cancer for her entire life, food that gives her strong eye sight, food that will be a gift for her entire life.

    And that baby holding! You guys are doing that just right. You are building a relationship with your child that will be the foundation of your relationship and help her to feel safe and loved. Skin to skin is awesome and releases love hormones for you all!

    I am happy that you've had as good of an experience as you've been able given your circumstances.

    Remember self care. Think of this as your babymoon and rest as long as you can. The outside world will still be there in a few weeks. While you are resting and bonding with your baby do take care of yourself too. You've had a difficult pregnancy and labor and a home visit for a one hour massage would not come amiss.

    All the best from your internet friends!

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  12. Yay! Huge congratulations to you all! Aren't new babies just wonderful and precious? And yes, they do smell absolutely perfect.

    I had thought you were a bit early, but I'm glad it was only 3 weeks. When you had talked about bed rest on the podcast I had a feeling it was for pre-eclampsia. I was diagnosed with the same disease at 25 weeks with our twins, and had to deliver them C-section at 27 weeks after I got extremely sick. Every week that went by and I saw the podcast I rejoiced that you were getting so far along. Baby #3 came two years later without any problems, hurrah!

    Good for her for latching on! That is the best food for her and it makes being mommy that much more special. Also, three cheers for Andrew!!

    Blessings and hugs,
    Meg - NkdSheep on Rav

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  13. a dude-la, love it! She's lovely Jasmin, congrats to you and your lovely family :)

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  14. Jasmin, thank you SO MUCH for sharing your experience. You made a BABY! And a fat-cheeked perfectly proportioned baby too...way to go. And way to go Andrew for stepping up and being awesome when awesome was needed! And so many congratulations to your whole family, grandparents and dogs and everyone.

    Fresh babies make me grin ear to ear. This is such a wonderful time for your family. Enjoy!

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  15. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story. Congratulations to you & Andrew and your whole family. Sending lots of wishes for much happiness always!!
    griffinknits@ravelry

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  16. Congratulations!!!!

    Don't feel guilty about Genevieve being born early. Babies are born when they want to be. Think of it as Genevieve not being premature - she was just impatient to be born! :o)

    - Pam

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  17. She's beautiful! Congratulations to the three of you.

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  18. beautiful baby,
    beautiful family,
    beautiful story,
    made me cry with happiness for you!

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  19. Congratulations! What a beautiful baby, and what a wonderful family to be born into. She just couldn't wait to get out and join the fun :) I have a wonderful image of wee Genevieve on her glow-in-the-dark blankie, all curled up with you. Sleep when you can, and let others take care of you for as long as you can get away with it. And has anyone put knitting needles in those lovely wee hands yet?

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  20. Congratulations to you and Andrew and the rest of the family! I suspected as much when we hadn't heard anything from you for a while. She is absolutely beautiful! Enjoy every second and be sure to let Andrew you know how amazing he is! Those hubbies seem to be few and far between.

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  21. Thank you so much for sharing your birth story. What a beautiful little person you and Andrew made! Congratulations!

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  22. Wow! Congratulations to you all she is absolutley gorgeous!!! I am so pleased for you all and enjoyed catching up on the news. I had to smile - my Grandmas birthday was 3rd Jan - a great day to be born. Lots of love to you all C x

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  23. Congratulations! So glad all went well. Thank you for sharing your beautiful baby girl with us. Love her name.

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  24. What a joy! Genevieve is so very precious! Thank you for sharing your story. Congratulations to you and Andrew. Give your mother love, too, from a faithful podcast listener. I wish you and your family all the best.

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  25. Many, many congratulations on your beautiful, adorable daughter!
    Back labour and face up (we call them star gazers) babies are a pain, but I hope you heal quickly and get settled into the new reality nicely!

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  26. Many congratulations to you and Andrew. Genevieve is simply adorable. Such a cute baby.

    As others have said, don't feel bad about giving birth early. they all turn up when they're ready.

    I've got 3 older children. My first was born on time, my second was a week late and my third was 4 weeks early. Every pregnancy was different, every labour and delivery was different.

    Just cherish these special years with Genevieve. They don't last long before they're all grown up and in in their teens/early 20s.

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  27. Thank you for sharing all the details with us. Make sure not to overdue it. You have one super dad and hubby there. Its so nice that you have your family near to help.
    She is so adorable. You did good.
    Congrats again.

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  28. Thank you for sharing the start of Genevieve's life with all of us. It's a very special story, and I'm sure there will be thousands more, and I for one, can't wait for the next installment.

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  29. Congratulations! She's a beautiful little baby and is blessed to have some amazing parents.

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  30. Congratulations to the entire Knitmore Family!
    What an adorable little girl...and obviously smart too...as she picked a family who will adorn her in hand-knits for as long as she is willing to wear them!

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  31. Congratulations!! I teared up reading your tale of it all. I'm so happy for you and your family. I have a similar story and I get all warm and fuzzy thinking about it. Thanks for sharing so openly with everyone.

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  32. Congratulations Jasmine and Andrew on your absolutely beautiful daughter! Glad that everything went well, and yes back labour is very painful. Enjoy every moment and thank you for sharing her photos!

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  33. Congratulations! Your baby daughter is adorable! Glad to hear you are ALL doing well. Enjoy every minute of life with her. God bless.

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  34. MANY, MANY warm wishes and congratulations!

    I'm glad the biliblanket worked its magic...when my first was born we had to use a "grow light" from the hardware store rigged over her cradle. She still loves yellow, by the way!

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  35. Sounds like a baby party over there! So glad to hear she's here and you're doing well. Reading your use of the verb "bogart," I was reminded of a song from college. I forget the artist; the lyrics were, "Don't bogart that [baby] my friend. Pass [her] over to me!" Good times! Enjoy this time. And thanks for a reminder of those early, early days. I remember that strong suck phase, too, and that I developed a reflex of kicking both my feet up and elevating both eyebrows uncontrollably when my son latched on. Congratulations to your whole family in this transformative time.

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  36. Congratulations!
    When people say, cherish every moment... what they really mean is, gloss over the hard parts, because the *amazing* is worth it. Similar to childbirth, really. But EVERYONE is right when they say kids grow up so fast! It's like lightning! :) SOMEtimes, that's a good thing.

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  37. She's beautiful and you're a champ. Andrew is pretty impressive as well. Thanks for sharing all the details.
    Lots of love and good wishes to the entire Knitmore tribe.

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  38. Congratulations!!! She is absolutely adorable :) and the dude-la line was pretty funny as well:) Also, thank you for the labor info...I'm due in March and I'm SCARED TO DEATH! Congratulations again:)

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  39. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your story and your beautiful daughter. Best wishes to all of you. As a recent new Grammy myself, I wish the grandparents the happiest most wonderful journey with their new granddaughter. Enjoy every minute of the snuggle time.

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  40. Jasmin, your daughter is such a beauty! I know you are taking good care of your baby, but also take good care of yourself. I am sure that Genevieve's grandparents are over the moon with joy and pride. Be well. -Catherine

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  41. She's a beauty! I'm so glad you chose to share details about the ordeal with us- I wondered if you wouldn't because it is more personal than you get on the podcast. I'm still ten years away (knock on wood) from any babies, but I appreciate reading about the experience. I'm also glad you talked about your diapering decision and tips on the puppies

    I'm sending all of the Knitmores good thoughts!

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  42. Your daughter is beautiful Jasmin. So nice of you to share her with us. Its been awhile since we have had babies around. My grandchildren are 18yrs to 8 yrs (7 of them). Hug and cuddle her for me. My first was a daughter also. I still remember the cuddling in my neck and rocking. My favorite thing. Congrats and enjoy!

    Elaine H
    Michigan

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  43. She is just lovely. 3wks early isn't bad our first was 6wks early, We had a bili blanket for 3 wks, all I could think of at the time was he looked like one of those glow worm dolls.

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  44. Thank you for sharing your story! I am glad to hear that everything is going well and you are all adjusting. My daughter and I had some similar issues at the start (tear for me, jaundice for her), but I'm happy to report that we both made it through. Continue to take it easy until you're completely healed up and ENJOY all the time with your gorgeous daughter!

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  45. Congrats, she is beautiful. Enjoy every minute of her wee one. Oh I am an old Labor and Delivery nurse and we never considered a 37 week baby was a premie. My first was born at 37 weeks and weighed 9lbs 10ozs. Babies come when they are ready ! And in all my 12 years on the labor deck I never saw a baby that read the delivery books.For that matter I never saw a " text book" delivery, most likely why we are all different.

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  46. Boy, howdy, it's about time! And the term for a male doula is doo-dah. Look it up. It's greek.

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  47. Jasmin & family I am so happy for you!!! She is beautiful & I can't wait to see you and meet her! We have a few things in common with our birth stories! So glad you all are doing well!
    Loads of hugs,
    Meegan

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  48. I'm so happy for all of you--Genevieve is a lucky girl indeed! Many good wishes, Jasmin and family!

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  49. This is the happiest update. Once again, congratulations to the three of you!

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  50. And she's. So. BEAUTIFUL!!!

    Well done. Everybody. Glad you're all okay, too; it was so good to see you tonight!

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  51. CatSaysKnit from Ravelry. Congrats, she's adorable. I love newborns they're just so squishy and loving!! Good job.

    I agree with the water breaking. It is the most disgusting thing evah and NO ONE ever clearly tells you how bad.

    Glad your furbabies are adjusting. Sounds like Elphie has a new bestie!

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  52. Congrats to you and your hubby.

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  53. She's beyond beautiful. :) Are you bringing her to Stitches? xox

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  54. Congratulations!!! She is beautiful.

    Thank you for sharing your birth story with us. I am now five weeks away from my due date and we are planning to use the Bradley method ourselves.

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  55. DangerMouse is beautiful. Many, many congratulations and well wishes.

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  56. Beautiful baby and beautiful you for bringing her in to this world. Job well done!
    My son just turned 6 months and reading over what you wrote brings those first few weeks back to me. Trying to figure out nursing, cloth diapers, how to make sure the dog didn't "love" him too much. It still amazes me how deeply you can love someone you just met, and how completely your life changes. Enjoy the good, bad, and day-to-day of watching your little one grow.

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  57. Congrats and thanks for sharing! She's a cutie patootie!!

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  58. Mazel Tov!
    Enjoy and take it easy. Thanks for sharing your story (and photos).

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  59. Congratulations, I am so glad that all is going so well. She is so sweet. Just want to pinch those cheeks, probably like everyone else loves to do.

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  60. Oooh, how wonderful that everything is going so well now! And little Genevieve is adorable, congratulations!! :D)

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  61. She is an absolute beauty! I know you both are awesome parents too so she is one lucky girl! (and I know her grandparents are awesome too!)

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